Author Definition



An act of informing a competition authority about possible infringements of the competition rules; complaints are often made in writing and in standard formats prescribed by the recipient authority. The competition authority that receives a complaint might decide to open an investigation into the alleged wrongdoing and it must motivate its decision in case it decides to reject the complaint. In the EU, where a complaint is lodged by an entity that has a legitimate interest in bringing the claim – such as being damaged by the alleged wrongdoing – its author enjoys certain procedural rights during the investigation.



The complaint is the main instrument whereby an aggrieved party, affected by anticompetitive behaviour, may bring its situation to the attention of a public enforcement agency. The persons who lodge such complaints must, as a rule, justify an interest in the opening of an investigation, such as the existence of damage produced by the behaviour. Even if the investigation is opened pursuant to a complaint, it is always conducted ex-officio by the competition agency; complainants may enjoy certain procedural rights, such as the right to receive a copy of the statement of objections (investigation report) and the right to be heard by the adjudicating board, before a final decision is taken in the case and, consequently, to challenge the decision in a court of law if the result is not deemed satisfactory. In all jurisdictions, complaints are an important source of information about the operation of markets; competition authorities often have specific provisions for the handling of the complaints, including designated templates.



This article is being reviewed by the Editors of the Dictionary.


  • Mircea & Partners (Bucharest)


Valentin Mircea, Complaint, Global Dictionary of Competition Law, Concurrences, Art. N° 12324

Visites 3966

Publisher Concurrences

Date 1 January 1900

Number of pages 500


Institution Definition

Request by a natural or legal person who claims a legitimate interest asking the Commission to investigate an alleged infringement of EU competition law and to bring it to an end. Formal complaints oblige the Commission to act (either to find that there is an infringement or to reject the complaint) and give the complainant certain procedural rights, like the right to be heard. Informal complaints (where a complainant refuses disclosure of the information he provides) or anonymous complaints may lead the Commission to open a case, but confer no rights to the complainant. © European Commission

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